Monday, November 26, 2007

Offices raided as largest junta-allied ethnic armies defy junta request

In the afternoon of Nov. 23, an office of a major minority group army that is a signatory to a cease fire agreement with the Burmese junta was raided by government forces. According to a press release obtained by Jotman (via Burma Kin), eight officers of the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) were arrested during the raid and taken away.

An earlier raid this month targeted KIO homes. Kachin News Group (KNG) wrote of the previous raid: "The raid is unusual and has taken place for the first time in 13 years of the ceasefire."

KNG reported that the junta is upset by the refusal of these groups to disavow the November 8 statement by Aung San Suu Kyi, in which she said that she had been approached by a number of ethnic groups to represent them in the dialogue with the military junta.

A report in the Irrawaddy says that "major ceasefire groups, the United Wa State Army (UWSA) and the KIO, have been showing obvious signals of defiance against the Burmese junta." Irrawaddy describes UWSA and KIO as "the two main players of 17 ethnic groups."

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